We’re already September! When did this happen? Either way, I’m way behind on my blogposts. Shame on me! But I have an excuse. After writing this blogpost… the trip is truly and completely over. Now I still have something that makes the trip last :-).
But no more excuses! Time to pin down our trip through some parts of Thailand, Lao and Cambodia. I’m going to make three different posts, one for each country. Which is good for my computer skills as well :-).
Let’s start with our itinerary. We left at the beginning of July: the 12th of July until the 3th of August. Although it was the rainy season in all three countries, we actually were very lucky! We arrived in Bangkok in the pouring rain. But other than that… I think we only got soaked two times more. Not that it didn’t rain, it did. With thunder lightning to make it special. But that was mostly at night or early in the morning. So I dare say that the beginning of the rainy season is still a pretty good season to travel. Bear in mind that it’s smoking hot as well. Always. Everywhere. All the time. But that’s charming as well.
This is our day-by-day journey:
- Day 1 Brussels – Bangkok
- Day 2 Arriving in Bangkok
- Day 3 Bangkok – Chiang Mai (nighttrain)
- Day 4 Arriving in Chiang Mai
- Day 5 Chiang Mai
- Day 6 Chiang Mai – Luang Prabang (plane)
- Day 7 Luang Prabang
- Day 8 Luang Prabang
- Day 9 Luang Prabang – Vang Vieng (bus)
- Day 10 Vang vieng
- Day 11 Vang Vieng
- Day 12 Vang Vieng – Vientiane (bus)
- Day 13 Vientiane – Phnom Penh (plane)
- Day 14 Phnom Penh – Siem Reap (nightbus)
- Day 15 Siem Reap
- Day 16 Siem Reap
- Day 17 Siem Reap – Surat Thani (plane) – Khao Sok National Park (bus)
- Day 18 Khao Sok National Park
- Day 19 Khao Sok National Park – Surat Thani (bus) – Khanom (bus)
- Day 20 Khanom
- Day 21 Khanom
- Day 22 Khanom – Surat Thani (taxi) – Bangkok (plane)
- Day 23 Bangkok – Brussels
Our flight from Brussels to Bangkok we did with Turkish Airlines; with a stop-over in Istanbul. It was rather okay. Our other planes we booked while we were still at home.
From Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang we flew with Lao Airlines, a really nice company. Although we had a propeller-plane, I felt rather comfortable.
The bus from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng we booked via our hotel. They arranged a pick-up from the hotel to the busstation, and the tuktuk-driver bought our bus tickets there as well. We had a minivan. The trip took 6.5 hours, including a short toilet break and a lunch stop (included).
The bus from Vang Vieng to Vientiane also was arranged by the hotel. We were lucky here to be the firsts ones the driver picked up… because the minivan was fully stashed. The trip took about 4 hours.
From Vientiane to Phnom Penh we flew with Cambodia Angkor Air.
From Phnom Penh to Siem Reap we took the Giant Ibis Night Bus, which I can recommend. We found this one, via another blog: http://www.movetocambodia.com/transportation/review-giant-ibis-night-bus-phnom-penh-siem-reap/. We found this review very comforting and handy. And after testing the Giant Ibis, we agree with everything ;-).
From Siem Reap to Surat Thani we flew via Asian Air, a very good company as well. The minivan to take us to the national park, we arranged at the airport of Surat Thani. Next to the exit you can find a small tourist information desk. There they arrange a minivan (together with the locals) that will take you to the entrance of the Khao Sok National Park, for a good price. At the entrance of the park, there are tuktuk-drivers waiting to take you to your hotel, if necessary.
From the national park to Surat Thani, we arranged our minivan via the hotel as well. They dropped us of at some dodgy busstation in Surat Thani from where we arranged our minivan to Khanom and booked our taxi back to Surat Thani as well (bit scary though).
Our flight from Surat Thani to Bangkok was with Lion Air.
A lot of flights – and flight companies – but we never had any (real) trouble travelling around the three countries. They all were more or less on time. The buses also were really good. They weren’t equally comfortable… in some you don’t stay dry when it’s raining outside. But we could arrange everything rather easy and without any stress.
For those who prefer a map (I know it’s really bad quality…):
And also, for those who were wondering: the trip wasn’t a rush at all. You can confirm with the boyfriend who wants to do everything at ease :-). So it’s a recommendable journey. And if you can, make it longer! Visit more parts of Thailand and go the North and South of Lao as well. Visit more than the touristic areas of Cambodia as well. I know I would, if I had the time :-).
Keep you posted on the three countries in upcoming posts!